There are several dates throughout the year that offer educators and parents an opportunity to organize an event or activity that serves to promote skepticism and critical inquiry. And of course, special events and celebrations can be a lot of fun for everyone and provide a nice break from the regular academic schedule.
The event and activity suggestions below also provide a source of ideas for birthday parties, seasonal celebrations and other festive occasions that may be coordinated in a variety of outlets.
A Friday the 13th doesn't usually go by without some recognition of the superstitions associated with this date. Few people haven't heard about the "bad luck" that is said to befall human beings every Friday the 13th. The date, then, provides an ideal time to explore the world of superstition and to inject a good dose of skepticism within the classroom.
Charles Darwin revolutionized our understanding of the world when he proposed the idea that life evolved through natural selection and that humans shared a common ancestor with apes and other life forms. The theory of evolution is a hallmark of science and together with other great discoveries, is an example of how the scientific method has enabled humankind to learn about the universe and use this knowledge to create technologies, advance our understanding of reality and much more.
Darwin was born on February 12, 1809. Every year on February 12th, science-enthusiasts celebrate Darwin Day and hold special events and activities that serve to teach about evolution and science and also to commemorate the many great men and women, including Darwin, who have helped to shed light upon the reality of our world and advance our understanding of the cosmos.
When school starts again after winter break, consider having a special event to mark the new year. A "reality revival" is just the thing to start the new year off on the right foot and generate enthusiasm about the year ahead.
The Reality Revival looks at the past year's discoveries and breakthroughs and provides up-to-date information on what we know and understand about the world. It may also explore outdated ideas or particular claims that have proven false based on our knowledge of reality and the way the world works.
Fun activities can be planned and students can participate in learning and teaching others about what we know, how we know it and why it's important to understand it.
Halloween is another great holiday for skepticism. Young people love to participate in Halloween, largely because they get to dress up, eat candy and have a whole lot o' fun. There are many opportunities for educators and parents to keep the fun in Halloween but also use the holiday to promote learning and skeptical activities. Consider the many ideas that can mark the occasion in the classroom, at home and within your community (and don't forget the candy corn!)
April 1st is a holiday celebrated by many. Tradition involves people playing practical jokes on one another up until noon but then, as the superstition goes, the jokes must end or it will be the joker that receives bad luck. There are many skeptical activities that can be incorporated into April Fools Day and that will provide hours of enjoyment and learning for everyone involved.
If you are interested in having a birthday celebration, slumber party, summer fest or just have friends over to take part in an event with a special "skeptic" theme, look through the party resources and activity suggestions we will be including here. Suggestions include an "Alice in Wonderland" theme party, magic shows and other creative ideas that inject a bit of fun and good ol' fashioned thinking into any day.
Visit our calendar for a list of dates that may provide a platform for special events and skeptical activity.
Programs & Activities for Summer Camps & Youth Clubs
© Copyright 2000, 2001 Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal